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Admiral Gayton

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

Admiral Gayton has taken upon him publicly to declare, in opposition to the author of Common Sense, and from his own knowledge, that when he was in America forty years since, “there never had been a man-of-war of any kind built in New England.”1 It is but just that the public should be informed, that in the year 1690 a fourth-rate ship-of-war was launched at New Castle, in Piscataqua River: and in the year 1696 another, whose force is not remembered. The former was the Falkland, and the latter the Bedford Galley.

It is not probable that Admiral Gayton had any knowledge of these ships having been built here, so that he cannot be charged with falsehood, but it is hoped if he should publish any thing further relating to this country, he will express himself not quite so positively, especially if he undertakes to prove a negative.

The evidence of the above facts depends on an original manuscript letter from Mr. Emerson, formerly minister of New Castle, to the late Mr. Prince, and is to be found among the collection of manuscripts relating to the history of New England, made by fifty years’ industry of that worthy gentleman, unless it has been pilfered or destroyed by the Saracen-like barbarity of the late occupiers of the Old South meetinghouse in Boston, in an apartment of which those valuable manuscripts were deposited.2


1 See Essex Journal, of December 26, 1776.
2 Freeman’s Journal, January 14.

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